1861 - Bunbury, T. Reminiscences of a Veteran [New Zealand chapters] - CHAPTER III, p 92-125

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  1861 - Bunbury, T. Reminiscences of a Veteran [New Zealand chapters] - CHAPTER III, p 92-125
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The Thanks of the Secretary for the Colonies received through the Lieutenant-Governor--Mission to the Native Chiefs--Interviews with them--Roman Catholic Missions of the Propaganda and Bishop Pompelier--Akaroa--Foveaux Strait--Visit to Bloody Jack, a Native Chief--Visit returned--Cloudy Bay--The Queen's authority proclaimed under a salute of 21 guns--Appearance of the Coast of Middle Island, as seen from on Board--Island of Capati--The Chiefs Rauperaha and Ranghihaita--Whalers--Testimonial of Conduct--Curious Custom in dividing the inheritance of a deceased Relative--Port Nicholson--Mr. Shortland appointed Colonial Secretary--Hawkes Bay and Hunt after a Chief--Approval of the proceedings of the Missions--Recommendations.

I received the following communication from the Colonial Secretary.

Colonial Secretary's Office, Auckland, June 27, 1842.


I have it in command from his Excellency the Governor to acquaint you that by a recent despatch from the Right Honorable the Secretary of State for the Colonies, his Excellency is instructed by his Lordship to convey to you the acknowledgment of the Government for your exertions while on your mission to the southward, for the purpose

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of effecting the adherence of the native chiefs to the treaty of Waitanghi.

I have the honour to be, &c.
Major T. Bunbury, 80th Regiment.

The mission to which this letter refers was one in which I was engaged in H. M. S. Herald, for the purpose of procuring the acknowledgment of Her Majesty's authority from the chiefs of the southern parts of New Zealand. While employed on this mission I visited the whole of the coast, and an account of the incidents which occurred while I was so engaged, will be found in the following despatches.

H. M. Ship 'Herald,' Mercury Bay, May 5, 1840.


Since I last had the honour of addressing you, I have made an excursion in the "Trent," schooner to Tauranga. She left the "Herald" at Mercury Bay on the 12th instant late in the evening, and arrived off Tauranga on the Sunday following; but the night was too far advanced to attempt to enter the harbour until the following day when Mr. Parker of H. M. ship "Herald," Mr. Williams and myself went on shore at the mission station, where we were received by the Reverend Mr. Stack; and I was agreeably surprised to learn that most

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of the native chiefs in that neighbourhood had already signed the treaty, with the exception of the principal chief and one or two of his friends at the Otumoiti Pa. This Pa we visited the same evening, accompanied by Mr. Stack. It is a very extensive fortification, and appears to contain about one thousand men. The chief who declined signing is a very young man. His manner was less prepossessing than I had before seen in others. On our taking leave, he made the usual remark, that he wanted to consult the other chiefs, and that he would with them meet us at the Mission station on the morrow.

On the following day he did not speak until the close of the conference, and then only in private to Mr. Williams, after Mr. Stack and myself had left them, and to enquire how much he was to get for his signature. Another chief expressed some indignation, because the Christian chiefs had not, as he said, met them; I presume he meant those from the other Pa, where Mr. Stack's influence was supposed to extend more than to his own, and where a Roman Catholic residentiary and the Catholic Bishops were supposed to have more influence. A third chief, the principal orator on this occasion, amused me much. After the treaty had been read and explained to them, he quietly observed when his signature was required. "Now first let us talk a little. Who was the first

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stranger that visited our shores?" On being answered, Cook. "And who was Cook's king? Was his name not Georgi?" On replying through the interpreter, yes. "And who then is this Queen?" I then informed him that King Georgi had been dead for some years, as also his two sons Georgi and Williami, who had succeeded him on the throne, and that the present queen was the granddaughter of Georgi. He then adverted to the wars of their tribes and chiefs, particularly with the natives of Vota Vua. I told him that one of the principal objects of my mission was to persuade all tribes at present at war with each other to accept the mediation of your Excellency, and to advise them to abide your decision. He objected strongly to our proposal of visiting at a future period the natives of Vota Vua, and he also observed. "If your nation is so fond of peace, why have they introduced into this country fire-arms and gunpowder?" He was in reply told, that the effects of this trade had been much deplored by the Queen's Government, who were anxious to mitigate its consequences, and to secure a regular form of government for their country. This I added could only be effected by giving the Queen the necessary powers, and it was for this purpose they were asked to sign the treaty, which had been before explained to them. He next enquired whether the Queen governed all the white

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nations, I replied not all, but that she was Queen of the most powerful of all nations. She had, however, acknowledged the New Zealanders to be an independent nation some years ago, but that treaty had proved abortive, in consequence of the wars of their tribes amongst themselves, and their want of union; and to themselves alone, therefore, were to be attributed the evils they had endured. She did not seek the authority of white men, of whatever nation, to govern them, she sought that authority from themselves, as a spontaneous gift, vesting her with powers for their own good, and to avert the evils which she foresaw were accumulating around them by the increasing influx of white men, subject otherwise to no laws or control. On being told I was chief of a body of soldiers, and that I had served under the monarchs already named, the chief inquired, Should his tribe, agreeable to my request, abstain from making war on the natives of Vota Vua, would the governor send a portion of my force to protect them? I told them that your Excellency desired rather to mediate between them, and only in cases of extreme emergency would you be prevailed upon to act in any other manner; but if your arbritation was applied for, I had no doubt but that the custom of their country would be complied with, by your insisting on a compensation being made to the party injured, by the party offending.

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I spoke of the sale of lands, and the right of pre-emption claimed by the Queen, as intended equally for their benefit, and to encourage industrious white men to settle amongst them, who would teach the manufacture of articles which were so much sought after by them. I showed how much more it would be to their interest than to leave the sale of large tracts of lands to themselves. They might pass into the hands of white men, who would never come amongst them, but to hamper the industrious by their speculations. The Queen, therefore, knew the object of these men, many of whom, I had no doubt, had counselled them not to sign the treaty; but she would, nevertheless, unceasingly exert herself to mitigate the evils they sought to inflict on the country, by purchasing their lands herself at a juster valuation. The chief said, it was useless now to speak of this, as the white men had purchased all their lands; but they appeared quite satisfied, saying it was very just.

Your Excellency is aware of the very dilatory habits of the natives, I therefore told their chiefs in conclusion that it was necessary I should also pay my respects to the chief of the neighbouring Pa; and I therefore quitted them, leaving Mr. Williams for a time, to see if they would resolve whether, or not, to sign the treaty. He subsequently told me that presents had been demanded;

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but the chief said he would not believe the word of the Missionary, when Mr. Williams told him that he had little doubt, but that I would send blankets through him for distribution.

I afterwards visited the chiefs at the Mangationa Pa, all of whom had previously signed, with the exception of two, who were I regret to say absent with their families.

We were well received. The chief, a fine intelligent-looking fellow, named Nuka, said that he had dined; but if we would take some dinner it would soon be prepared for us. This Pa and the tribe are of considerable strength and importance. I was much pleased by their chief's manners, and from the good conduct he bears, should any mark of distinction ever be shown to any of them it would be well to secure the good will of this chief, who appears to be well disposed to the Government.

I have deemed it expedient to enter more fully into the details of this conference, as one which not only shews the general character of the natives, but also the nature of the obstacles I may hereafter expect to meet, when principles alien to the Government have been instilled by interested Europeans into their minds, as exemplified also at Coromandel Harbour. I cannot disguise from your Excellency my regret that men professing Christianity, should in a country whose

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inhabitants are scarcely able to comprehend the simplest doctrines of the christian religion, endeavour to create distrust of its ministers of any persuasion; Christianity in any shape with these people, being better than the deplorable condition of many of them at present.

Whenever the boat of the Protestant mission, I was told, left the station, a boat with the priests started also at the same time for the same Pa. These unseemly disputes sometimes ending with rioting could not have been very edifying to the natives. With Mercutio they might justly exclaim, "A plague o' both your houses." When expressing to the Catholic bishop, Pompelier, my regret that these scenes should ever occur, he replied, "It surprises me that you, an Englishman, brought up under a free Government should wish to deprive me of the privilege of judging for myself in these matters."

We arrived here this morning, having left Tauranga Harbour on the 13th instant. The natives at Otumoiti Pa still displaying their character for strict observance of previous engagements, until outbidden by the promise of an increased premium.

I have, &c. &c.
(Signed) T. BUNBURY.
Major, 80th Regiment.
To His Exc. the Lieut.-Governor of New Zealand.

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H. M. Ship, 'Herald,' June 28, 1840.


Since the 15th ultimo, when I last had the honour of addressing your Excellency, we have encountered very unfavourable weather. The 'Herald,' during the night of the 24th on making Banks' Peninsula, was becalmed, and having anchored to prevent her drifting, she parted with her anchor and twenty fathoms of cable before she could again be got under weigh. She subsequently experienced a very heavy gale, and we were not able to enter the harbour of Akaroa until the 28th, when I disembarked with Mr. Williams and Captain Stewart; the latter from his personal acquaintance with the native chiefs of the Middle Island, and their language, I have found very useful. The language I am told by Mr. Williams, differs considerably from that of the northern island. At Akaroa we found a native village and some Europeans connected with whaling establishments. A Captain Lethart of Sydney, also here since the 10th of November last, has established a cattle run with about thirty head of horned cattle, and has two stockmen in charge of them. From the appearance of this herd I am inclined to believe the pasturage much better than at the Bay of Islands. Potatoes grown from this to the southward are unquestionably of a superior quality, and in no respect inferior to those grown

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in Van Diemen's Land. The natives are few in number, and consist principally of the tribe who escaped the massacre perpetrated here some time ago by Rouperaha. They effected their escape by the agency of a Captain J. Stewart and a super-cargo, named Cowell, in the brig 'Elizabeth,' of which I presume your Excellency has heard. I obtained the signature of the late chief Temaiharanui, and also the signature of a very intelligent well-dressed native who spoke English better than any I have met with in this colony. These two signatures I conceive of consequence, although from the diminished number of the tribe, they can scarcely consider themselves as chiefs.

The Sydney land traders are urging preposterous claims on the Middle Island as elsewhere, and although my present mission is only to obtain the adhesion of the native chiefs to a treaty with her Majesty, I trust I may be pardoned for suggesting that Banks' Peninsula should be surveyed as soon as possible and thrown open to public competition in allotments of convenient size, in order to stop further interlocation, or any mystification of conflicting claims.

The harbour of Akaroa is an estuary forming a basin, which extends about eight miles into the peninsula and is surrounded by very high mountains, precipitous at the entrance. As you advance, these mountains gradually slope and

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form a succession of hills, clothed with verdure and timber to their summits, and abounding in streams of excellent water. The country has a very picturesque and park-like appearance, and seems well adapted for farms where both arable and pasture lands are required. Yet the title to fifteen square miles of the eastern extremity of Banks' Peninsula, including the whole of this beautiful harbour, has been sold by a Captain Rhodes of Sydney, and others, to Captain Lethard for £350. Captain Rhodes professes to have acquired a right to dispose of the property, having purchased it from a chief named Tyroa, for a consideration not named. The deed, or written agreement, a copy of which was shewn me by one of the stockmen, is dated Sydney, 18th of February 1839, witnessed by Charles Wild, solicitor, and signed by Tyroa. I much regret not having been able to meet with this chief, who usually resides at Otako. The weather was unfavourable on our way to the southward, and on our return he was absent.

This chief can, however, have no claim to the property at the Port of Akaroa, which he has assumed the right to dispose of, beyond the circumstance of his having been one of the hostile chiefs leagued with the late Temaiharanui against Rouperaha when the latter destroyed the tribe, and carried their chief into captivity. A brother of the late chief Temaiharanui residing at Akaroa,

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has signed the treaty, as also a chief married to a sister, residing at Otako. Proceeding south on Thursday the 4th instant, we anchored, and the vessel was moored at Zephyr Bay, southern port, Stewart's Island. This is one of the finest harbours I have seen, and its survey by a present pilot, Captain Stewart, in the year 1809, I am told by the officers of the ship does him great credit. Accompanied by him, the following morning, I went to visit a station in. the harbour, distant about four or five miles, where he formerly had some men employed as ship-builders; but although we found vestiges of them, it was evident that they had abandoned this part of the island some time previous to our arrival. There being little probability of our finding any natives on the island, Captain Nais and myself deemed it advisable the same day to proclaim the Queen's authority over the island, for which purpose the marines were landed with a party of officers from the ship, and the usual forms complied with. The original of this declaration of the right of sovereignity enclosed in a bottle, was buried on a small island near the anchorage, which becomes a peninsula at low water. A duplicate I now forward to your Excellency, with the signatures attached.

In some excursions I made, I was much pleased with the fertile appearance of this beautiful island.

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Although the winter was so far advanced, it was not so cold as I had anticipated, from its being so far to the south. Indeed the number of paroquets seen flying about, gave it rather the appearance of a tropical island. The cassiowary has also been seen in different parts of the island, and I am told by Captain Stewart that he has seldom found snow to lay here for any number of days, even in the depth of winter. The soil appears to be in general good, with plenty of timber. There are several varieties of the pine--all the trees, however, appear to be ever-green. On Tuesday the 9th, the wind having shifted to a more favourable quarter, we were enabled to leave the harbour and sail for Ruabuki, or Long Island, in Foveaux Strait, where we expected to meet a tribe with a chief, named Bloody Jack, an epithet of which he is now ashamed and disowns, having resumed his native name of Tooiaki. On nearing the land, a boat came off with some Europeans and natives, who we found had been expecting our arrival for some time. A Mr. Hesketh, connected with the house of Jones, of Sydney, kindly undertook to bring off the chief in his boat the same evening, leaving an English seaman, formerly in the employ of Captain Stewart to pilot us to an anchorage. This seaman had been residing until recently at Paterson river, Stewart Island, of which he gave a favourable account. The Europeans there employed themselves

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in boat building, and in the culture of wheat and potatoes, with which they supply the whalers, as also with pigs and poultry. He is at present, he says, in the service of Tooiaki, which chief returned from Sydney only in March last, in the same vessel with Mr. Hesketh. Two whaling ships were anchored in the neighbouring coast, one a Portuguese and the other French. Neither had been Very successful.

The native village being at some distance from our anchorage ground, Mr. Hesketh did not return until late in the evening. The chief Tooiaki came on board in a full dress staff uniform, of a British aide-de-camp, with gold lace trowsers and cocked hat and plume, in which he looked extremely well; and his behaviour at Captain Nais's table when he took tea, shewed that the examples he had seen, had not been lost upon him. He was accompanied by a native orderly sergeant, dressed in a corresponding costume.

The chief spoke a little English, and appeared to be aware of the nature of the treaty, but which I thought it necessary to have read and explained to him in the presence of Mr. Hesketh, and he signed it without hesitation. He said he had at his village twenty men dressed and trained as soldiers, and was very anxious that Captain Nais should permit them to come on board the following morning and see the marines go through the

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manual and pelotoon exercise. To this, Captain Nais kindly acceded. The chief then gave me a paper written in English, which he wished me to sign. It was a declaration that the island of Ruabuki was his property and that of his tribe, to different individuals of whom he had allotted portions of it. Not wishing he should conceive that any deception was intended by Government, I wrote on the back of the document, "I have seen this paper, but am not prepared to give an opinion or any information on the purport of it. The treaty guarantees the full and exclusive possession of their land and other properties to the natives." No mention was made in this document of a title to Middle Island, although this chief styles himself the principal.

On the chief taking leave, I told him I should return his visit on the morrow, which I accordingly did, accompanied by Lieutenant Hewitt, Royal Marines, and Captain Stewart (to whom the chief was known) Mr. Williams and an officer from the ship in charge of the boat.

After being carried through the surf by some natives, we were received by the chief in the same scarlet uniform he had worn the day before, and by the sergeant who then accompanied him, at the head of six soldiers dressed in British uniforms, but without hats or shoes.

The chief took us to his cottage, a weather board

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hut, and offered us rum of which he appeared to have a good supply; but Mr. Hesketh, to their credit, states that although they are not absolutely temperance men, they seldom get drunk.

I was afterwards introduced to his son, a fine boy of about seven years of age, of whom he appears justly proud; the child was dressed in a very becoming manner, and has six toes on each of his feet, which his father seemed to exhibit with much satisfaction. Rouperaha who is a great warrior, and the mortal enemy of this tribe, is similarly gifted with this unusual addition of toes. I at the same time received from him a memorandum, respecting the register of a small craft between twenty-five and thirty tons, building at Mauraki, which paper I beg leave herewith to forward. I was sorry to learn from the chief, that a British subject, named McGregor, who had been residing some years in this neighbourhood, had suddenly disappeared with a small craft, taking with him some of this chief's women and kookis (slaves). The vessel is without a name or register, and Captain Nais is in hopes that we may be able to meet with her. McGregor is reported to be a convict escaped from Van Diemen's Land, and his conduct made the English residing here for some time apprehensive that the chief might retaliate on them and insist on compensation. An Englishman, a carpenter, residing at Otako, I hear has been shot by

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a native when in a state of intoxication, but whether it was in connexion with the above affair I could not satisfactorily ascertain.

Knowing that Captain Nais was anxious to proceed on his voyage, we were obliged to shorten our visit. The chief and his son came off with us, and the sergeant and six of his soldiers, with two other chiefs, came off in two whale boats, a third followed with natives bringing potatoes, &c. to the ship. The soldiers of the chief and natives having arranged themselves on deck, the marines went through their manual and pelotoon exercise, as had been promised; and afterwards, at my request, Captain Nais permitted a few sailors to go through the sword exercise, which, as I anticipated, pleased and interested them much, particularly the "attack and defence," the chief frequently calling to his followers to pay attention and see how it was performed.

Whilst the ship was getting under weigh, they took their departure, two other chiefs having also been permitted to sign at the request of Tooiaki.

This influential chief is one of those individuals who similarly with Rouperaha in Cook's Straits, has had sufficient address to gain the ascendancy over the chiefs of the neighbouring tribes, without owing anything to the superiority of his birth.

I understand there are some excellent harbours on the western shore of Middle Island. Mil-

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ford Haven has been pointed out to me in particular, whilst Knowles' River, as laid down in Macdonald's chart, in Foveaux Strait has no existence. It is much to be regretted that this coast has not been surveyed.

The 13th June, we arrived at Otako, but so late that we had only time to obtain the signature of two chiefs who resided near the entrance of the harbour. Karita is a chief of some consequence, and I am sorry to learn from him that Tyroa has gone to a place called Mauraki, and having several miles to pull, before we could reach the ship, I did not deem it advisable, in consequence of the evening being far advanced, to enter farther into the harbour. Whilst there, I heard (what I then considered rather an improbable story) that the native who had shot the Englishman, had finished by shooting himself rather than be given up to the authorities, but having been told the same by Tooiaki at Ruabuki, and by others since at Cloudy Bay, there may be probably some truth in the report.

On the 16th we arrived at Cloudy Bay. Here we found five Americans, one French, and one Bremen whaling vessels. Mr. Williams, Captain Stewart and myself landed the same evening at Guard's Cove, where we found several European residents, and the brother of the chief at Kapati island, with two or three other chiefs of inferior

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note, his nephews. The whole of these refused to sign the treaty, under the impression that if they did so, their lands would be taken from them. In other respects they received us civilly. The old man, the brother of Rouperaha, promised however to come off the following morning to the ship.

The Port Nicholson Land Company had employed here, it appears some time since, an agent to purchase land for them, but without success; and some similar speculators from Sydney who had bought cattle and intended to establish themselves on some extensive purchases formerly made, were not permitted to take possession, the natives opposing them---consequently the persons in charge of the cattle find themselves in rather an awkward predicament. Disputes also among the English residents on shore, and the crews of the whalers, are by no means unfrequent. Amongst the residents I found Captain Guard, with his wife and family, in whose favour you may recollect H. M. ship "Alligator," with a detachment of troops, were sent from Sydney some years ago. Another person of the name of Torres has a whaling establishment, and is married to a daughter of the old chief. These appear to look on the natives for protection against the seamen, who frequent this harbour, amongst whom I have no doubt are many bad characters.

On the morrow following our arrival, we were

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visited by some chiefs from coves adjoining that which we had visited the preceding evening, These did not hesitate to sign the treaty when it was explained to them. A young chief of the name of Maripu we found particularly intelligent. He spoke a little English, and told me he had been at Hobart Town on board H. M. ship "Conway." When told, after he had read the treaty, of the difficulty we had experienced at the neighbouring cove; he said that that tribe was not singular, and that most of the natives imagined that we asked them to sign in order that the Queen might afterwards take their lands from them. Both Mr. Williams and Captain Stewart were surprised at the very clear manner in which he explained to another chief the nature of the 2nd article of the treaty, which relates to the land and property of the natives, and he offered to return on shore to them. We accompanied him. The old chief named Nohorua (brother to Rouperaha) on condition that his signature was witnessed by his English son-in-law Torres agreed to sign, saying, should his grand-children, lose their land, their father might share the blame. The others (his three nephews) said they would see us on board.

On my return to the vessel, I found a number of native chiefs had assembled, and all expressed a wish to sign excepting the three brothers; the wife, however, of one of these was very anxious

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to sign, saying that she was a daughter of the celebrated chief Pehi, who was killed at Akaroa. She appeared very angry when I would not permit her to do so.

To shew how much these people have been harassed about their lands, and how zealous they are in preserving them, I may mention that they all objected to receive presents after signing, least by some quibble, these might be construed into a payment for their surrender.

I noticed another remarkable circumstance in the eagerness with which they asked for spelling books, and testaments. Most of them read a little, and I believe they have been taught by a native missionary. I unfortunately had on my table a New Zealand testament, which Bishop Broughton had been kind enough to lend me, and my positive refusal to give it to them (notwithstanding it was explained to them that it was not my property) I fear gave great offence.

This being the last port we had to visit in the Middle Island, the Reverend Mr. Williams having, as we understood, obtained the signatures of the chiefs at Charlotte's Sound, I consulted with Captain Nais, and we both were of opinion that it would be advisable at once to proclaim the Queen's authority also over the Middle Island, as the most effectual means of preventing further dissensions amongst the natives and Europeans. I accord-

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ingly, whilst the natives were on board, had our intention explained to them, and having made an official application to Captain Nais for the usual salute, the marines were landed, and the union jack hoisted on the Horikaka Pa, under a salute of twenty-one guns. The yards were also manned, and three cheers from the party on shore were answered by those on board. In this the natives joined with great glee.

The proclamation read by me on this occasion, on hoisting the British flag at the Pa, is also here annexed with the signatures of those present and witnessing the act.

It may appear like cutting the gordian knot, where so many and such intricate interests are interwoven, yet the further delaying this step could only tend to create further difficulties; and where so many influential natives had signed, the presence of so many foreign vessels contributed to render the declaration of H. M's. sovereignity more imposing. I therefore trust that it will meet with your Excellency's approbation.

On leaving Tavia Poenammoo, or the Middle Island, I was forcibly struck with the bleak and savage appearance of its chain of mountains, covered with eternal snow as viewed from the sea, and contrasting with the real amenity of its climate and fertility of the soil near the coast. I am inclined to believe that the capabilities of this island

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for purposes of agriculture have been much underrated, to say nothing of its splendid harbour and mineralogical productions. I am also certain that the intelligence and enterprizing character of the natives, as well as the extent of its population, have been equally misunderstood.

June 19th. --We arrived off the Island of Capiti --several canoes were leaving the island, and on my preparing to go on shore, fortunately the first canoe we met, had on board the chief Rouperaha who I was so anxious to see. He returned on board with me in the ship's boat, his own canoe, one of the most splendid I have yet seen, following. He told me that the Reverend Mr. Williams had been there, and had obtained his signature to the treaty, and on inquiring for the chiefs Rangihaita and Iko, I was informed that we should meet them, both, probably at the Island of Mana; and as this lay in our route to Port Nicholson, thither we proceeded--the chief Rouperaha remaining on board the "Herald," his canoes following. On our arrival, the "Herald" having anchored, I went on shore accompanied by Mr. Williams and Rouperaha. We learnt that Iko, son of the late chief Pahi, had gone out on a distant expedition. The other chief, Rangihaita, after some time, returned with us on board, accompanied by Rouperaha, when both signed the treaty. Whilst on shore I was much tormented by the over officious

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zeal of some European sailors, who appeared to be a drunken set of lawless vagabonds belonging to different whaling establishments in the neighbourhood. The only respectable person amongst them was a stock-keeper in charge of some sheep and horned cattle, and the captain of a whaling vessel anchored a-head of us. I learnt there that a whaling boat had upset, and the owner, a Mr. Thomas, and part of the crew drowned, about three weeks before. Thomas was married and had a family of children by a New Zealand woman, who I was informed, possessed his property on the opposite shore, a part of which they said the chiefs had taken possession of. I asked the sailors who were complaining that some of the property taken was theirs, if they had any specific charge to make against Rangihaita, who was the most powerful chief of that neighbourhood. However, I could get nothing from them but vague declamation against native chiefs in general, to which I replied that the fault was probably as much on their side as on that of the natives. The old chief who was present, appeared to understand the drift of the conversation, for he went into his hut and brought out several written testimonials of good conduct, on which I desired Mr. Williams to explain to him how much I had been gratified in perusing them, and that I trusted, under the Queen's Government, he would continue equally

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to deserve them, that he would find the government just and even-handed, and that punishment would follow evil doers, whether they were Natives or Europeans. To which he replied, Capai! Capai! (good! good!) apparently much satisfied. I have since learnt from Captain Stewart that a curious custom exists amongst the natives of New Zealand, with reference to the disposal of the effects of persons deceased.

The relatives and friends assemble and share the spoils amongst them, a few things only being kept for the male children, if any are left by the parents. The widow it seems looks on, and is to consider this spoliation as an honour done to her deceased husband's memory. Europeans, married to native women, are considered in the light of relations, and share with the others in these cases. In proof of this statement the captain cited several instances, a familiar one in the Bay of Islands, in the case of the late chief Titore--his property I understand did not descend to his children, Ewai possessed himself of the Earl of Aberdeen's letter, Akida of the suit of armoury &c, &c.

June 20th. --We arrived at Port Nicholson, but the wind shifting and the tide turning at the moment of entering, the ship anchored in the stream. On going on shore at Thornton I met Mr. Shortland, who gave me your Excellency's

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note. Considering every circumstance, the troops were well provided for. I cannot say as much for the accommodation provided for Mr. Shortland, and Lieutenant Smart, and Best, in common. We were, however, sheltered from the rain, which at this season of the year is of primary consequence, and they all appeared in excellent health and spirits.

Mr. Shortland I find is appointed Colonial Secretary. He appears to attach greater importance to the necessity for active interference in procuring the restitution of the effects of the late Mr. Thomas, said to have been taken by the natives, than I had done, and as Captain Nais appeared to consider himself as co-operating with me, I requested he would return with the "Herald" to the Island of Mana, and to which he promised to accede if I thought it necessary. Therefore before Mr. Shortland left the ship, I explained that for me to join him in an official application to Captain Nais, it would be necessary that I should be put in possession of the facts and circumstances of the case. In undertaking a commission of this nature, when no depositions had been taken, and consequently there was no complainant, it behoved me to be cautious, and he must expect therefore I should decline any interference if I considered the case he was about to forward to me, not of that public importance to warrant my incurring so

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great a responsibility, particularly as I bad learnt from him that a request had been made to the chiefs, which I had no reason to suppose they refused compliance with.

The following day (Sunday 21st) Captain Nais showed me a letter from Mr. Shortland, requesting at the same time to know if its purport had my concurrence, and whether I required H. M. ship "Herald" to return to Mana, to which I returned the answer appended.

Mr. Shortland conceiving that the ship's entering the harbour might, by displaying her force, be of service, at my request Captain Nais got her under weigh and sailed round the harbour, and whilst waiting the communication from Thornton, I went on shore, accompanied by Mr. Webster, being anxious to see the settlement at Britania.

On the 23rd instant, H. M. ship "Herald" anchored during the night in Hawke's Bay, and on the following morning I landed in search of the chief Te Hapuku, who from the character he bore for rapacity, and the reports of extortions he had practised upon Europeans, I feared it would not be easy to find "at home;" nor did the tears of some of the women who followed us from one of his residences which we found at the bottom of the bay, make me think more favourably of him. We had great difficulty in persuading these poor people that we had not come to ap-

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prehend him. After walking about a mile along the beach, and crossing the sandy isthmus, we arrived at an estuary, the road leading round it being only passable at low water. After wading and walking another half mile, we arrived at the Pa, but the chief had gone into the country; a native was however sent after him. Here we remained some time, but no chief appearing, we prepared to return, and left a note for him, explaining the nature of our mission with a native who was able to read. Before reaching our boat Te Hapuku overtook us, accompanied by a chief from the Bay of Islands district, named Hara. The chief Te Hapuku at first refused to sign the treaty, saying that he was nobody, and that he had heard that those who had signed it at the Bay of Islands had been made slaves. I therefore requested Mr. Williams to ask the chief Hara, who was one of those who had signed, how he came not to be made a slave of, and how many slaves he had seen at the Bay of Islands when he left the place with Mr. Williams' father? He endeavoured then to explain his meaning by a sort of diagram on a piece of board, placing the Queen by herself over the chiefs, as those were over their tribes. I told him it was literally as he described it, not for an evil purpose as they supposed, but to enable her to ensure the administration of justice and good government

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equally amongst her subjects. Her authority having been already proclaimed over New Zealand with the consent of the greatest number of influential chiefs, he would find that the tribes must no longer go to war with each other, but subject their differences to her arbitration. Strangers and foreigners must no longer be plundered and oppressed by natives, who, in their turn, were not to be injured by white men. It was not the object of H. M's. Government to lower the chiefs in the estimation of their tribes, and I said that his signature being now attached to the treaty could only tend to increase his consequence by acknowledging his title. He might therefore sign or otherwise as he thought best for his own interest and that of his tribe.

To give him greater confidence, I told him that I regretted that it was not in my power to shew him the ship, as we had not the means of re-landing his party. I could give him and his party a seat in our gig, but as they did not appear to have any canoes in this part of the bay, I did not know how they were to get back. He then immediately volunteered to go and take his chance of meeting with some canoes alongside the ship in which he might return.

Viewing the peculiar habits and customs of the natives of New Zealand, and the circumstances under which we have obtained the sovereignty of

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these islands, it is worthy of consideration, whether, as in India, some trifling degree of deference might not be paid to their present state and condition, in order gradually to prepare and make them comprehend the more complex and expensive forms of our civil institutions and criminal laws.

Thus, judiciary circuits might be made periodically by a naval surrogate, as in Newfoundland, accompanied by an armed cutter with a small force of police or infantry on board, acting as marines. This magistrate would be a check upon the natives, with power to apprehend also our more obstreperous countrymen, and convey them to the nearest town or police station for trial summarily, or otherwise.

Police stations and magistrates will, I fear, be immediately required at the principal whaling establishments, and it would be worth the trial to organize that force with an admixture of natives.

The military, I conceive, ought rarely to be required to act or appear, as the slightest check they might receive, would be attended with the most disastrous consequences. It is true that the natives are not prepared to cope with the courage and discipline of British troops, but if the former are ever unadvisedly pent up in their Pas or forts--despair may supply the place of both.

The efficacy of the service of a well organized police, in establishing the Queen's authority in

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these islands would be much increased if in every instance when they may be called upon to enforce the decisions of Government, in giving possession to the regular purchasers of land, the average expense and pay of the force, or numbers employed, were to be immediately levied by a distress on the effects and cattle of the recusant, from the date of the serving of the notice to quit, in addition to any other law expenses to which he might have subjected himself. Nor would I exempt the owners of cattle fed on such property from a similar penalty, as it is their duty to ascertain by what title of government it is held, before entrusting them to the charge of the occupants.

"By converting the cupidity of land jobbers and squatters into a source of remuneration and profit, the necessity for employing a large and expensive force, would I conceive soon be dismissed. I have, &c, &c.

(Signed) T. BUNBURY.
Major, 80th Regiment.
To his Exc. Captain Hobson, R. N. Lieut.-Governor.

The following is the declaration of sovereignty referred to in the foregoing despatch:

Declaration of Sovereignty over Tavia Poenammoo, or Middle Island.

This Island, called Tavia Poenammoo, or Mid-

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dle Island of New Zealand, situated between the Meridian 166° and 174° 30' east of Greenwich, and 40° 30' and 46° 30' south parallel, with all the bays, rivers, harbours, creeks, &c, in and on the islands laying off, having been ceded in sovereignty by the several independant native chiefs to Her Most Gracious Majesty, Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the said island was accordingly taken possession of, and formally proclaimed, and H. M.'s colours hoisted at the Pa of Horikaka, Cloudy Bay, under a salute of twenty-one guns, on the 17th day of June, 1840, by Captain Joseph Nais, commanding H. M. ship "Herald," and by Major Thomas Bunbury, K.T.S., 80th Regiment, who were commissioned for that purpose.

Done in the presence of us.

Peter Fisher, Lieut. H. M. ship Herald.
P. L. D. Bean, Master, ditto.
C. J. Parker, Acting Master. H. M. S. Beagle.
J. H. Sharp, Mate of H. M. ship Herald.
T. Frazer, Surgeon, ditto.
James Giles, Purser, ditto.
C. Hewitt, First Lieut., Marines, ditto.
F. H. Neblett, 2nd Master, ditto.
G. F. Munro, Assistant-Surgeon, ditto.
Edward Webber, Midshipman, ditto.
J. B. Cato, Midshipman, ditto.

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W. R. Crofton, Midshipman, H. M. ship Herald.
H. W. Comber, Midshipman, ditto.
Fred. S. Grey, Volunteer, ditto.
W. Kelly, Gunner, ditto.
John Caselay, Boatswain, ditto.
J. Chappels, Carpenter, ditto.

Witness to the Signatures.

Joseph Nais, Captain of H. M. ship Herald.
Thomas Bunbury, Major, 80th Regiment. (Charged with a diplomatic mission.)
Edward Marsh Williams, Interpreter.

A similar form was used in the case of Stewart's Island.

Lord John Russell's approval of the results of the mission was conveyed in the following despatch to Governor Hobson.

Downing Street, March 30, 1841.


I have received your despatch of the 15th of October last, enclosing reports from the various gentlemen whom you had commissioned to treat with the native chiefs, for the purpose of effecting their adherence to the Treaty of Waitanghi.

I have to convey to you the approval of H. M's. Government of the measure which you adopted

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throughout these negotiations, and to request that you will express to Major Bunbury, and to the other gentlemen employed by you, the acknowledgments of the Government, for their exertions in executing this service.

I have the honour, &c, &c.

(Signed). J. RUSSELL.

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